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Explore Food-grade Stainless Steel for Pipework Systems

Choose food-garde stainless steel for piping systems to ensure food safety and quality.

By Kevin LashleyPublished 4 months ago 4 min read

In the food industry, safety and quality are of paramount importance.

With an increasing focus on foodborne illnesses and contamination, food manufacturers and processors must take every precaution to ensure the safety of their products.

One critical aspect of food safety is the design and construction of pipework systems. These systems play a vital role in transporting ingredients, products, and even waste throughout a facility.

To maintain the highest standards of food safety, it's essential to use the right materials for these systems – and that's where food-grade stainless steel comes in.

The following article will discuss the uses and advantages of food-grade stainless steel in piping systems, showing why this material is preferable to others.

Food-Grade Stainless Steel: Why is it the Best Material for Pipework Systems?

Stainless steel is an iron-based alloy that contains chromium at a minimum of 11%. Nickel and other metals and components like carbon make up the alloy. Stainless steel's distinctive and varied constituent makeup confers features that make it useful across a wide range of sectors, especially those in which the metal will be subjected to extreme conditions.

Stainless steel is particularly vulnerable to the high temperatures, high humidity, and harsh chemicals found in the food processing business. To withstand these conditions, food-grade stainless steel must be impervious to rust and corrosion and simple to clean.

Compared to plastic or carbon steel, food-grade stainless steel has several benefits. Because it is not porous or absorbent, it does not provide a breeding ground for germs or other impurities.

It can also endure the intense cleaning procedures used in food processing plants since it is resistant to a wide variety of chemicals and cleaning agents. Last but not least, the metal is heat resistant; thus, it can withstand high temperatures without being damaged.

Types and Characteristics of Stainless Steel Used in The Food Industry

You shouldn't assume that since stainless steel is "food safe", it is the best option for your establishment or manufacturing method. The stainless steel used in the food industry comes in a wide variety of grades, compositions, and qualities. The two most popular grades are:

  • Steel Grade 304

The most widely used kind of stainless steel, 304, is also known as "18-8" stainless steel due to the percentages of chromium and nickel it contains. Moreover, half of the world's stainless steel is made from this. 304 is a more cost-effective and versatile option than 316L in many situations.

Most oxidising acids will not cause corrosion in stainless steel type 304. Because of its resilience, it is simple to sterilise, making it a good choice for a wide variety of uses in the piping system. It can be formed and welded easily, providing a wide range of design possibilities throughout production.

  • Steel Grade 316L

The second most prevalent stainless steel, 316L, has the same chemical makeup as 304: 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum. The inclusion of molybdenum is the key to elevating corrosion resistance. Adding molybdenum to metal makes it more robust. It also enhances its resistance to pitting (a kind of corrosion that results in the formation of microscopic holes in the metal) when exposed to chloride ion solutions.

Applications where chemical processing, extremely sterile industrial conditions, medical and pharmaceutical production, and high salinity environments, such as coastal locations, are commonplace make more use of 316L. 316L stainless steel is more expensive than 304 stainless steel, but its superior resistance to corrosion makes up for the price difference over time.

The Benefits of Food-Grade Stainless Steel for Pipework Systems

There are several benefits to using food-grade stainless steel for piping systems, including improved food safety and streamlined operations.

  • Durability

Stainless steel that is safe to eat is made to last, and it can withstand a lot. Its structural integrity is not compromised by exposure to extreme conditions or prolonged use, guaranteeing reliable service throughout time.

  • Lack of Corrosion

The high corrosion resistance of food-grade stainless steel is a major advantage. It is unaffected by alkaline or acidic chemicals, as well as moisture and humidity, keeping the conveyed fluids clean and safe.

  • Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

The smooth, non-porous surface of food-grade stainless steel makes it simple to maintain a sanitary environment. Cross-contamination is prevented to an absolute minimum, and the highest standards of cleanliness are maintained thanks to its resistance to bacterial growth and biofilm development.

  • Cost

Stainless steel offers cheap maintenance expenses if it is cared for properly.

  • Facilitated Maintenance

Pipeline systems made from food-grade stainless steel are low-maintenance. Downtime is decreased, productivity is increased, and operating expenses are decreased because of the material's natural resistance to corrosion and its ability to survive periodic cleaning regimens.


As a last thought, stainless steel, approved for use in food applications, is the best option for pipework systems. The high standards of food safety and quality can be maintained at your establishment because of its longevity, resistance to corrosion, and sanitary qualities.

Choose food-grade stainless steel for your piping systems now to ensure the safety and quality of your production facilities.


About the Creator

Kevin Lashley

He writes in several genres. Kevin and his wife, Julia, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Buddy, live in Melbourne, Australia. A regular contributor to New Path Web Morning Edition.

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